Tim Pawlenty, (Republican GINO-MN … and for those not familiar with the acronym GINO, it stands for Governor In Name Only which Pawlenty earned during his last years as Minnesota’s Governor traipsing around the country while ignoring the taxpayer’s needs) has taken the next step in a Presidential run by announcing “the creation of an exploratory committee” via a Facebook grainy video (which garnered him less than 2000 new “friends” ).
This step follows his previous “introduction” to the voters with his January 11th publishing of his book Courage to Stand.
The obvious question is : How are book sales ?
The first week was reported to be 2,757 and then on January 20th upped to 4,765 (which may have had some “help” … As MPR reported,
Gov. Pawlenty held a private “friends and family” book signing on January 17th in South St. Paul. “The event is limited to those campaign officials and supporters who have been with him since 2002 and earlier. Those attending were asked to buy 15 books.”
Gosh, sorta like a Dad selling raffle tickets for his child’s school fundraiser … beg your friends to buy your book may be uncomfortable for some, but when you need sales, you impose.)
Initial sales may have been slow for the first-time “author”, … so to give it a little time to “build excitement”, I waited until March 6th to review the sales on Amazon’s Bestseller list … “Courage to Stand” was ranks 14,017 on the broad Amazon’s Bestseller’s list … and a more selective category Notable Leaders – Political category, Pawlenty was #75 …
Fast forward to the current Amazon report … overall it stands at #23,784 … and in the Notable Leaders category, he slipped to #88 …. Well behind other potential Presidential contenders Ron Paul and Sarah Palin who each had two books in the category. Heck, T-Paw is behind Senator Scott Brown book … who’s not running for President.
All I can tell you is that when I am mall walking, it does not look like the Courage To Stand pile is sinking at my local Barnes and Nobles … and it has sat on my local library New Book shelf for days without anyone taking it out.
But let’s not count our GINO out so quickly, as one reporter observed during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event :
Pawlenty seems to be adopting a southern accent as he talks about his record as governor of Minnesota
“This ain’t about easy. This is about rolling up our sleeves, plowing ahead and getting the job done.”
Yep, T-Paw is “plowin ahead” … let’s face it, he’s doing the right thing … heck, he gets a two-fer when he mentions Ronald Reagan and how the Bible Reagan used to take the oath of office in 1981 was “opened up” to II Chronicles 7:14.
Not bad for an ex-Catholic turned Evangelical … gotta go seek the engaged voters.
My assessment has not changed … although Pawlenty’s book sales and polling numbers continue to be dismal, he remains the odds-on favorite to be the Republican nominee.
Well, he fits the “suit” Minnesotans learned that his dreams resulted in nightmares (an update on his “dream”, the plant went through bankruptcy even though Pawlenty continued industry subsidies while the state pushed bills out to future years.)
Besides fitting the “suit”, T-Paw continues to benefit from a Republican field that is plagued by potential candidates that either pay for staff affairs, or pay for affairs outside the country, while other known name candidates realize that writing books and appearing on reality television is more fun and profitable (heh, did you know that Newt Gingrich has published 20 books since 1994 including three in the past year … plus Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future, ranks as the nation’s largest money-making machine of its kind, collecting more than $52 million in its first four years but we should not forget that Speaker Gingrich was reprimanded for failing to ensure that two nonprofit projects did not violate tax law and for providing false information to ethics investigators.)
Pawlenty at least doesn’t have any known ethics and behavioral problems … just a legacy void of accomplishments. Pawlenty says his focus will be on jobs … well in Minnesota, his JOBZ program (Job Opportunity Business Zones ) was rejected by two leading Republicans in the 2010 campaign to replace him. In fact, Tom Emmer, the endorsed MN-GOP candidate to replace GINO Pawlenty ran a campaign on reforming government … citing examples of bloated bureaucracy in Pawlenty’s Administration (heck, it was well known that GINO Pawlenty would spread wages of his cronies around to various departments.)
Yet, Pawlenty really has never been loved by Minnesota voters … his last election victory was by less than 21,000 votes (less than 1%) of the vote. The strength of Jesse Ventura’s Independence Party draws enough support that if the Republicans can hold together, they can win.
But Mr. Pawlenty’s support has not fared well for his candidates. In the 2008 Minnesota Republican caucuses, Mitt Romney easily bested John McCain for whom T-Paw was a national co-chair (not really much of a surprise as the 2007 MN-GOP Straw Poll had Newt Gingrich as the winner … but since Mr. Gingrich decided not to run, Mr. Romney’s victory was assured.) And let’s remember that Norm Coleman lost his US Senate seat during Mr. Pawlenty’s term … as did six-term Congressman Gil Gutknecht, who lost the First Congressional District to Democrat Tim Walz. And despite fundraising and campaigning for Tom Emmer, Mr. Pawlenty’s replacement was a Democrat.
His decision not to seek a third term was not his alone … the Minnesota voters had enough of Mr. Pawlenty’s vision.
Yep, old T-Paw may be #88 on the book selling list, but he’s #1 on my Most-likely-to-be-the-nominee list … for the good of the country, if the Republicans want to nominate someone with gubernatorial experience, let’s hope the Republicans take a hard look at Mitch Daniels and Jon Huntsman. Maybe, being a Minnesotan and having seen all of Mr. Pawlenty’s warts, I am too critical … no, I am actually too honest, the country would not be well-served with Mr. Pawlenty, whose nomination would not be based on performance in government but instead as being a bag man for Republican powerbrokers.